My father convinced me to do it: Ram Charan
The south star on reprising Amitabh Bachchan's iconic role as a cop in 'Zanjeer' remake and his interest in politics
He has done only six films in the Telugu industry but Ram Charan’s Bollywood debut has already caught the eye of many. Son of veteran actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan talks about reprising Amitabh Bachchan’s role in Zanjeer 2.0 and why grabbing opportunities doesn’t come naturally to him.
What made you sign Zanjeer 2.0 especially since it is a remake of an iconic Amitabh Bachchan film?
Yes, I almost did not do it for the same reason. When the film came to me, I had several questions as to why, what and why me? But when I read the final draft, I thought I would be missing out on a good script if I said no to it. At the end of the day I was excited about the script and the way Apoorva (Lakhia) had adapted the script without taking the essence out of the old movie, which we have all seen at some point of time.
You are only few-films-old in South. Did you think this was the right time to come to the Hindi film industry?
Good scripts, good things and good opportunities don’t have a time. They can come very early or never come. Fortunately for me, it came and grabbing opportunities is the most difficult part. I could easily have said that I am comfortable in my pond and would have thought ab wapas jaakar wahan kyun ladna hai? That’s when I spoke to my father who convinced me to do it.
What did your father say?
He said don’t do it for one reason -- the script and don’t let it stop you for any other reason except the script. So I guess I had the answers apart from only one fear of remaking such a cult film.
Do you usually take your father’s advice?
He never has too many advises for me in regards to my career. I have always discovered myself and he always let me fall down if I had to and get up on my own if I had to. He has never spoken to me about my career decisions.
You were recently in the news for your road rage, which created a huge controversy.
Yes I was. All I can say is that as far as I am concerned, I was only protecting my wife and my family. I am a celebrity and you can treat me the way you want to but I expect to have some dignity and respect for my family. I was just protecting my family and I have no regrets about that.
Are you interested in politics?
My father is a full-time politician and we stay under the same roof. So yes, I am interested in politics and I am more aware than a normal person would be. I am interested in politics, as I want to know more about the ministers and MLAs from my area.
You recently shifted to Mumbai. Is it true you have purchased a house here?
Yes, I recently bought a small house for myself since I travel to Mumbai quite often. I have been coming to Mumbai since many years and this hotel (a five-star in Bandra) has been my home for seven years. But now I decided to have my own home here.
You also have made two close friends in Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt...
Salman and I know each other since the time I was a kid. He used to endorse a cola brand for which my father was the brand ambassador in the South. They used to shoot together and are close friends. I know Salman since than. He has opened his doors for me and if I am in Mumbai and I do not call him, he gets very upset. In fact, he tells me that he will complain to my father.
I have immense respect for him. I would like to recount a funny incident. We had this shot where Sher Khan (Dutt’s character in the film) comes to the police station and I kick the chair and mouth some dialogues. After that I had to catch hold of his collar but I just could not do it. The shot started at 9 am and went on till 3 pm as I just could not do it. Finally he told me, “Charan let’s finish this and go home yaar”. We all love him.
How did your meeting with Bachchan during the film’s first schedule go?
We actually met him on the first day of shooting the film. Incidentally, he was shooting for some ad film in the next set and we went to meet him. He got very nostalgic seeing me in uniform. He blessed us and that has been by far the most memorable incident during the making of the film.